It’s no surprise that employee engagement has changed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Staff have been forced to work remotely, zoom meetings have become the norm and companies are having to adapt to change as fluidly as possible. Employee engagement is suffering for various reasons. Now more than ever we need human connection but with social distancing and having to work from home, people are feeling disconnected and disengaged.
Employees are also feeling more anxious as their job security is threatened. A study showed that more than half of the workers surveyed say that feeling safe at work is more important than being promoted. In addition to this, employees are feeling burnout and their mental health is taking strain.
All this negatively impacts employee engagement and HR professionals need to make adjustments within the workplace to ensure proper communication while also making staff feel valued and included. To make that shift, it helps to keep the following in mind:
Employees are more likely to feel engaged and have a positive mindset if they feel valued and appreciated. This will have a positive influence on their work as they will be more willing to put in the extra effort if they feel as if their employer is connecting with them in meaningful ways.
The key to employee engagement is feedback. Companies should encourage staff to give regular feedback by making them feel at ease to express their thoughts. At the same time, being transparent with employees on current situations can instill a sense of trust.
There are so many things that can leave an employee feeling anxious. They may be concerned about whether or not they will last within the company amid layoffs, they may be feeling overwhelmed with work and they may be having stress at home. Allowing them to be able to discuss their anxieties can be of great benefit when it comes to employee engagement. A good idea is to implement a wellness program that focuses on mental health and encourages them to talk openly about how they are feeling.
Boosting employee engagement requires you to think outside the box. Some companies are creating groups on social media that feature workouts and at home team-building exercises. Others are coming up with ideas to host virtual office parties. There are countless ways to let your workforce feel connected, you just need to get creative.
Ultimately, employee engagement comes down to rebuilding those connections amongst staff. We are living in unprecedented times but by redeveloping business models, strengthening communication and allowing your employees to be able to express themselves you can turn the negatives into positives.